8bd2d0542a08cf788d1038889d726ccf
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Often referred to as succulents because of their thick, moisture-retentive leaves, sedums are actually desert plants.

carolemccraysm.jpg

The tiny, abundant, star-shaped flowers appear in the summer. Later toward fall, the clustered flower heads can turn a warm brown. These form the seedpods and are especially attractive in a winter garden. With the first dusting of snow in my garden, the sedum’s flower heads are topped in white. It is such a pretty sight, and the sedum provides texture and shape on my austere winter landscape.

There are over 400 varieties of sedums. The genus Sedum is native mainly to rocky, mountainous regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Because of where they originate, they are often referred to as “stonecrops”.

photo_1_-_sedum_goldmoss_stonecrop1a.jpg

Most sedums will do just fine as far as adapting to the climate in zones 4 to 9. Planted in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil, sedums will fit into many places in your landscape. As a ground cover, edging a border, carpeting a sloping bank, nestled into a stone wall crevice, trailing in a window box or container or filling spaces in a rock garden; these are some of the numerous roles you might find sedum can play year-round in your garden. In summer, the palette of flowers on sedums can be pale pink, dusty pink, rosy pink, pinkish-red, mauve, white and yellow.

sedum_album_baby_tearsa.jpg

A lovely ground cover is sedum acre ‘Golden Stonecrop, a wonderful golden sedum. Yellow flowers appear in spring and summer atop green succulent like foliage resembling moss. Another one to carpet the garden is Sedum spurium with a growth habit of 3 inches high. It forms a low, spreading mat of dense green foliage covered later in the summer with pink flowers topping the carpet. Both of these low growers are ideal for filling in a crevice garden with nooks and crannies hugging them, for an interesting planting in rock gardens or for carpeting sloping banks. Two more ground huggers are Sedum album chorticum, sometimes referred to as Baby Tears and growing to a height of 2 inches and Sedum album, also known as Coral carpet sedum with a height of 2-6 inches. In cold weather Baby tear’s small, bead-like foliage has a touch of pink and white flowers in the summer. Star-shaped flowers appear in early spring on Coral carpet sedum, and its mat of bright green foliage often is tinged in salmon pink—how pretty would it be trailing from a window box or terra cotta pot! If you are thinking of adding sedums to your fall garden, a good one for stunning seasonal color is Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, a superb ground cover and carpet for a hilly slope. ‘Angelina’ goes from green to gold to a lovely orange in the fall.

photo_3_-_sedum_crystal_pink1a.jpg

Taller growing sedums are best planted at the edge of a border or walkway where they are able to remain somewhat upright. Reaching heights of about 16 inches, two upright and showy ones to consider are Sedum spectabile‘Crystal Pink’ and Sedum spectabile‘Mr. Goodbud’. ‘Crystal Pink’ is a brand new sedum from Terra Nova Nurseries with the iciest pink heads you’ll ever see. Large heads of the softest pink on shorter stems make an awesome combination with blue-leaved grasses or with echinacea. It is an improvement upon the traditional ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum because the blooms hold together stronger. Butterflies are attracted to it. ‘Mr. Goodbud’ has gained a lot of popularity among many gardeners. This dusky S. Spectabile has tight foliage and strongly contrasting colors between its light buds and dark mauve flowers. In 2006, it won the Royal Horticulture Society’s Award of Merit. 

Sedum 'Mr. Goodbud'

With a wide range of habit, color and eye-catching foliage, the choices of sedums are many. They will delight you year-round, some as early as spring when flowers appear and continue through summer till fall and lend textural interest to your winter garden. Give these garden showstoppers a try. 

Carole McCray is an award-winning garden and lifestyle writer and artist who lives, writes gardens and paints in the scenic Laurel Highlands in southwestern Pennsylvania. She won the 2003 Garden Writers Award of Achievement for her article on Native Seeds published in The Christian Science Monitor Newspaper.


Articles about Seasonal Gardening (Click for Full List)

Rancho Viejo
Seasonal Gardening Ron Vanderhoff

'We're not in Kansas', now is the time to Garden - southern California

Eighty years ago Dorothy opened her door, walked outside and into a garden. 
San Diego Fair
Seasonal Gardening Ron Vanderhoff

A Fair Time in San Diego for Local Gardeners

I enjoy county fairs. I probably haven’t missed one in thirty years. It’s cheap entertainment, but it’s the down-to-earth style and community spirit of a county fair that appeals to me the most.

Amaryllis for Container Growing and Holiday Giving

79517 Chris Eirschele
Amaryllis bellandonna
The amaryllis gardeners grow in containers during the frigid cold winter months then…

April is an Active Time in Local Gardens

6172 Ron Vanderhoff
Hydrangeas
I suspect that April might be the busiest month of the year for most local gardeners.

As Daylength Changes, Garden Plants Respond

10549 Ron Vanderhoff
Daylight Chart
On Monday morning December 21st at precisely 9:47 a.m. our annual winter solstice will…

Cool or Warm, Plants have a Preference

5622 Ron Vanderhoff
Cool Season Plants
All day at local nurseries, the questions come every few minutes; “Why are my aeoniums…

Dahlias Planted now will Flower all Summer and Fall

24265 Ron Vanderhoff
"Dahlias are back in fashion", said the magazine title.

Don't Believe Everything You Read - Gardening is Regional

5825 Ron Vanderhoff
Gardening is Regional
If you're a gardener in southern California you may have read the following articles in…

Easy to Grow and Share Paperwhites

4417 Dawn Hummel
Bulb sizes differ
There is nothing like the intoxicating, spicy perfume of Narcissus Paperwhites ‘Ziva’ to…

Fall blooming Bulbs

5483 Carole McCray
Gladiolas Blooming
Continue the parade of color once daffodils, tulips, crocuses and hyacinths have put on…

Herbs for a 'Cool' Garden

5025 Ron Vanderhoff
Cilantro 'Santo'
When gardeners talk about the cultivation any loose assemblage of plants, say vegetables,…

New Zealand Flax Winter Plant Care

64740 Dawn Hummel
New Zealand Flax  Winter Care
I am a huge fan of Phormiums.

Pacific NW Wintry Wonderland

5971 Dawn Hummel
Greenhouse
Over the past two weeks, the usually mild-winter Pacific Northwest has gotten hammered…

Plant a Garden for the Seasons

4140 Ron Vanderhoff
Seasons in the Garden
One of the greatest joys that a garden has to offer is as a reminder of seasonal change.

Preparing For Your Winter Vegetables

28284 whittier fertilizer
Winter Vegetables
Winter is rapidly approaching and those with vegetable gardens will need to be prepared…

Pruning Peaches, Plums and Apricots

33876 Ron Vanderhoff
Default Image
Read Part Two Of This Article Here.

So Much to do in the Fall Garden

4284 Ron Vanderhoff
Fall Tasks
Although the days are shortening at this time of year, a gardener's to-do list is not.

Spring Care Tips for Pampas Grass

102612 Dawn Hummel
Pampas Grass Spring Care
Spring Care Tips for Pampas Grass

Summer Pruning of Fruit Trees Keeps them the Right Size

20857 Ron Vanderhoff
Stone Fruit
This past winter I wrote two columns about the proper pruning of stonefruits and other…

Summer Vegetables are Hot

6346 Ron Vanderhoff
Melon from Seed
May and June is the perfect time to plant heat loving summer vegetables.

The New Veggie Season Starts!

5326 Kate Copsey
Warm and Cool Season Veggies
Depending on where you are in the south, sometime in April is when the last frost usually…

The Southern Vegetable Garden in Summer

16105 Kate Copsey
Zuchini Blossom
Summer is synonymous with fresh tomatoes, sweet corn and watermelon.

The Year in Gardening, 2010

4268 Ron Vanderhoff
Garden Vegetables
As I have for the past five years, it’s time to take a look back at the gardening year…

Time to Plant Fall Vegetables

10296 Ron Vanderhoff
Fall Vegetables
I stopped to get my morning coffee at a little place not far from my home.

Tis the Season for Giving

4077 Carole McCray
Amaryllis are great gifts
Forget the mundane gifts and look at these suggestions for gifts that get a “green”…

Tulips or Amaryllis? - Southern California

32045 Ron Vanderhoff
Amaryllis
Passing the bulb department at the nursery, a young shopper asked me, “How do I grow…

You Can’t Fool Mother Nature - Early Spring in the So Cal Garden

4399 Ron Vanderhoff
Pansies
It seems mothers’ can always tell when their children are telling a fib.

Featured Plant Care

Pruning Fruit Trees

Fruit Trees with No Fruit

in Edibles
Do you have a fruit tree in your garden, but no fruit in your garden?
Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Broccoli - Early Purple Sprouting (Brassica oleracea 'Early Purple Sprouting') - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Aeonium Monthly Plant Care

Aeonium spp (Aeonium) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Fig Monthly Plant Care

Fig Tree (Ficus carica) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Latest Articles

Jungle Music Palms and Cycads

Jungle Music Palms, Cycads & Tropical Plants Fall Newsletter

Rare and Exotic Palms, Cycads and Tropical Plants junglemusic.net Hello! You may already…

Popular Articles

Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…
Kahili Ginger Plant Care

Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)